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John Durand

Susannah or Mary Bontecou, ca. 1768–70

John Durand (fl. 1765-82)

A portrait painter and painter of historical scenes who spent much time in Virginia, John Durand was also a teacher of drawing and watercolor painting. His activity is recorded between 1766 and 1782, and it is thought he was a descendant of French Huguenots who settled in Connecticut. He first was in Connecticut and hIs name appeared as the portrait painter of the six children of James Beekman of New York City. He also painted the children of a family named Rapalje, and those portraits are in the New York Historical Society.

In 1767 to 1768, John Durand advertised as a drawing and watercolor instructor in New York City and also as a painter of historical scenes. By 1781, he was in Virginia where he painted many portraits which were described as “strong likenesses . . . hard and dry . . . and immense” in numbers. (Groce 197). Although it is thought he remained in Virginia, the later part of his career is unknown.

Source:
George Groce and David Wallace, “The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America”

Biography from the Archives of AskART